Bureaucracy Knows Best

Occupational Hazards When Sleeping Too Long (Draft 1)

I don’t eat food anymore
because of my rap sheet.

Y’know
sleeping long is
a hazard, and I had
woken up with cravings.

When I
had gone
to the supermarket,
there were new signs:
signs of weirdness

WARNING:
THE ENTRANCE PLATFORM
IS A WEIGHT SCALE.

NOTICE:
FACIAL RECOGNITION
AND HEIGHT MEASUREMENTS
ARE PERFORMED

A guard at the door
scanned my ID

I picked up
a giant bag of potato chips,
a half gallon of ice cream, and
a strawberry short cake.
An alarm bell went off.

Lifting me off the ground
four OSHA guards seized me
and carried me backwards
to a chair where
my arms were
strapped down
palms up.

A nurse jabbed a vein
and took two vials of blood

A computer made announcements:
BODY MASS INDEX UNACCEPTABLE.
VACCINATIONS NOT ON RECORD.

A clerk:
DO YOU HAVE A CAKE LICENSE?
UM. OBVIOUSLY NOT. YES THEN,
I HEREBY DECLARE: YOUR
FOOD AND HEALTHCARE LICENSES
ARE REVOKED. REMOVE HIM.

Before throwing me out of the store,
they jabbed my shoulders with vaccinations.

I was disinclined to go to that store again, so
I found a small store nearby.

I got my food to the check-out counter, and
the clerk said, “You don’t have a food license
so I’m not allowed to sell you any food. Please leave.”

I regret that then I had gone
to a liquor store
where they had cookies under the table.
Undercover police arrested us both.

I had amassed quite the rap sheet, so
I had learned to catch pigeons in the park
and boil them in lake water with a twig-and-leaf fire

But a different Winter
hasn’t been authorized
and the snow covers everything

I don’t eat food anymore.

Sleeping long is
dangerous. I will
leave my hazardous body
to a snow grave, and leave
the chattering squirrels
to give my eulogy.